Wednesday, March 28, 2012

1998 - Edgar & Miner/Carpet One Elite Cycling Team

(L-R) Darren Vogler, Jon Watkin, Luca Segato, Mike Korb, Maurice Worsfold, Alistair Howard, Chris Worsfold, Bob Cameron, Nick Rowe. (Not shown: Mike Lamb, Jeff Werner)
In 1998 Victoria was already becoming a hotbed of cycling.  With the Commonwealth Games in 1994 and the subsequent cycling events organized by the Victoria International Bike Racing Society, events like the Mount Tolmie Road Race and the Bastion Square Grand Prix became notorious and infamous at the same time.  In addition, several local Victoria cyclists emerged to the international cycling scene and put Victoria on the world cycling map.  Roland Green began his illustrious professional career during this time, and even at the young age of 18, was showing everyone that he was a world champion in the waiting.  Alison Sydor, a Uvic Grad, continued here dominance of the Women's Professional World Cup of Mountain Biking and used road cycling as a means to compliment her preparation for major events. 

It was during this time that Victoria's amateur racing scene was also booming, with new blood emerging to follow the wake of success of Roland and Alison.   A group of Victoria's top Cat 1 racers banded together to form one of Victoria's first Elite Road Cycling trade teams, Edgar & Miner Carpet One.

Originally founded by Bob Cameron, Luca Segato, Jon Watkin, and Darren Vogler, the team began pulling in Victoria's top racers such as Mike Korb and the twins Chris and Maurice Worsfold.  In addition, two younger riders: Alistair Howard and Nick Rowe were also brought on board for development.  Later in the season, Jeff Werner and Mike Lamb would join the team. 

The team was able to secure Edgar & Miner Carpet One as the Primary Sponsor and Benton & Overbury as the presenter.   The team was set up to ride Marinoni Bicycles and Team kit made by Sugoi.  Additional support came from Pacific Coast Savings Credit Union (now Coast Capital), Bell Helmets, Deluxe Cleaning Services, CSD Design, GR Fairchild Concrete, RC Mitchelmore Painting, BellCom, Bagel Street Cafe, Royal Victoria Security Ltd., and Italian Food Imports. 

Early on in the season, the team wasted no time in winning by taking the early Comox Cup and early Victoria Cycling League Races.  The first big test was to race the Tour of Willamette in Eugene Oregon in April in order to not only build fitness, but to race against the top US teams.  The race proved to be challenging for many of the riders and bad luck prevented some from advancing in the general classification.  In the end, the team came back home humbled, but determined to fight on and show BC what they were made of.

(L-R) Bob Cameron, Luca Segato, Nick Rowe, Alistair Howard - at the Bastion Square Grand Prix

Mike Korb won the BC Cup - Comox Valley Stage Race while Jon Watkin won the Up-and-Over Highlands race.   In the Tour de White Rock, Jon finished 5th in the Criterium with the help of an impressive lead out by team-mate, Darren Vogler.   Darren himself finished 5th at the Mount Washington Hill Climb race.  Alistair Howard and Nick Rowe were awarded the top juniors at the Bastion Square Grand Prix where they competed with World Cup track cyclists who were in Victoria at the time for Velodrome racing.

Nick Rowe (L) and Alistair Howard (R)
The Edgar & Miner boys also made a strong impression at the BC Track Championships with Nick Rowe winning the junior men's kilo and individual pursuit; Alistair Howard winning the Senior Men's individual pursuit; Bob Cameron and Alistair winning the Team Pursuit with Sam Whittingham, and Mike Korb taking 3rd in the men's points race.

In the Victoria Cycling League, Jon Watkin took overall honours with Mike Korb and Bob Cameron taking the 2nd and 3rd place spots.    In addition, the Edgar Miner team set new records in the Mount Doug, Nield Road, and Observatory Hill Climbs.

The team continued on in 1999 under the Acheson & Company Elite Cycling Team.


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